Lotte Duty Free expands in Oceania with three-storey downtown store in Sydney

By Luke Barras-hill |

Sydney is the latest addition to Lotte’s Australia shop network, which includes airport units at Brisbane, Darwin and Wellington Airports, and a downtown store in Melbourne.

Sydney will be home to the newest downtown store from Lotte Duty Free when it opens on Thursday (5 May) as the South Korea travel retail giant signals its expansion in Oceania.

Lotte Duty Free says the 3,000sq m three-storey shop located at the intersection of Pitt Street and Market Street at the heart of Sydney’s bustling central business district will be the first to open in 683 days since its belated Singapore Changi Airport L&T concessions unveiled in June 2020.

When it opens, visitors can avail of selected duty and tax savings on more than 150 international and local brands spanning alcohol, beauty, watches and jewellery.

“The opening of the Sydney city store is a move that reflects Lotte Duty Free’s determination to speed up its expansion once again,” commented Kap Lee, CEO, Lotte Duty Free. “We plan to proactively respond to the surge in tourism by rapidly pre-empting major tourist demand for destinations overseas.”

KRW ONE TRILLION TARGET

The multi-level boutique will house big beauty from the likes of Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Shiseido, SK-II, La Prairie, Sulwhasoo and Gucci Beauty, alongside Cosme Decorté and Pola as part of a mix that features more than 100 international and Australian beauty labels, many of which are new to Australian travel retail.

Travellers will also discover local names such as Beauty Chef and Vita Glow, together with niche fragrances from Le Labo, Frédéric Malle and Kilian.

Customers can avail of prices on beauty items that are around 15% lower than domestic retail.

The 3,000sq m three-storey store, situated at the junction of Pitt Street and Market Street within Sydney’s bustling central business district, houses in excess of 150 international and Australian brands across perfumes & cosmetics, watches & jewellery and alcohol. It is due to open on Thursday 5 May.

Meanwhile, luxury watches and jewellery flank the assortment, with Omega, Breitling, Montblanc, Longines and Mido set to make an impression.

Experienced watch consultants are on hand to help customers select, fit and style their perfect timepiece.

On the upper level, customers can engage with Lotte Duty Free’s resident sommelier to sample local wines, or explore premium whiskies at the 100-bottle Whisky Bar.

“Lotte is home to some of the most luxurious brands in the world,” added Lee. “We are proud to offer shoppers everything they are wanting in a space that elevates this part of their travel journey. Our retailer partners are testament to Lotte’s reputation worldwide and we are excited to bring this retail experience to one of our favourite cities, Sydney.”

The store’s design has been crafted by Bates Smart, which Lotte praises for adding a fresh, contemporary architectural style that blends with the latest technology to produce a relaxed and informative shopping experience.

In a statement, Lotte Duty Free Oceania CEO Stephen Timms added: “The duty free experience is as important as all other aspects of the travel journey. From the hotel to the location, travellers want something special and memorable. Design innovation and client experience were the guiding principles in the creation of this iconic store.

“Lotte Duty Free is a travel destination in its own right and something we want people to build into their plans and be excited to experience as part of the international travel journey.”

OPENINGS IN VIETNAM AND SINGAPORE

As pre-empted by TRBusiness, Lotte Duty Free made its foray into Oceania duty free in 2019 after acquiring JR/Duty Free’s interests in Australia and New Zealand – and five duty free shops including at Brisbane and Wellington Airports – in 2018.

As recently as December, Lotte Duty Free inked a two-year extension at Brisbane Airport.

Lotte Duty Free has made no secret of its ambitions to expand in the so-called Asia Pacific ‘Lotte Duty Free Belt’.

Currently, it runs 19 stores across the region, including on its home turf of South Korea, with new outlets slated to open in Vietnam in Da Nang and Hanoi.

Lotte Duty Free has forged a presence in Australian travel retail since it acquired the rights to operate JR/Duty Free’s interests in Australia and New Zealand in 2018. The South Korean travel retailer took over the concession at Brisbane Airport (pictured) in 2019 and inked a two-year contract extension in December 2021.

By opening in Sydney, Lotte says it will establish a foothold in Australia that will pave the way for it to become the country’s largest duty free operator.

It says the market was worth KRW 1 trillion/US$789.6 million per year pre-Covid and it will target the same amount in sales from its new shop over the next 10 years.

It is expected to face stiff competition from a busy Australian duty free market that contains the likes of Dufry, Heinemann and DFS Group.

In time, further to the recovery of Australia’s duty free market, Lotte intends to introduce top tier fashion and jewellery boutiques to extend its outreach to – and purchasing power among – consumers.

Australia’s reopening of its international borders from 21 February to fully vaccinated foreign travellers represents a boost for Australia’s duty free players.

The company, which ranked in second position in the TRBusiness Top 10 International Operators 2021, has reopened all but one of its shops.

The Nha Trang Cam Ranh Airport store in Vietnam is temporarily non-operational.

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